As of this writing, Kim is pregnant with our third child. The news came as a bit of a surprise. Not a shock, mind you, as we are well aware of how babies are made. (Pretty sure, at least.)
The fact is that although we were open to another child, we weren’t exactly planning on it. We had been getting used to the story of our family having just two kids.
When Kim first told me the news, I may or may not have cursed. Not in an angry way, but more in a “you’ve got to be kidding me” way.
I immediately propelled into logistics mode: We’d just purchased a new car — would it fit three car seats? Would Ben be old enough to move in with Lucy and handle a big boy bed by the time the baby came? I was so wrapped up in thinking about how this new houseguest would negatively affect our family dynamic, travel habits, business plan, and pocketbook, that I couldn’t think of much else, let alone experience any real excitement.
Fast forward to earlier this month, and Kim and I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland. Not only were we looking forward to some time alone together, but we were anticipating the new ideas we’d be exposed to as a result of being around so many big thinkers. WDS has become an annual pilgrimage to seek out and uncover our next big thing, particularly with regard to our business.
On the first full day, digital photography expert and professional blogger Darren Rowse was talking about the power of dreams. During his presentation, he showed an image of a newborn, probably less than an hour old. The baby was tiny and wrinkly, flexing his displeasure at the tape measure encircling his head.
The caption on the slide read: The next big thing might be the small thing in front of you.
Suddenly my eyes appeared to malfunction, as a steady stream of liquid began escaping from my eyes. (I’m glad the theater was dark.) Here I was in Portland, eagerly looking for the next big thing in my life, when reality slapped me across the face with a rubber glove: The next big thing was already here! We were having a baby! And it was going to change my life in a million wonderful ways!
In mere moments, my shame for feeling so lackluster gave way to new perspective and enthusiasm. Deep down, I felt a sense of relief. I didn’t suddenly receive all the answers I’d been looking for, but I did receive the peace that we’d be ok. Yes, things would be different, but they would also be awesome.
I am finally ready to embrace this new adventure with joy and excitement.
I probably should have felt thrilled about bringing new life into this world from the first moment I learned the news. But the truth is, I wasn’t.
I suspect that is often the case any time our story changes in a way we didn’t anticipate, even if that change is mostly a good one. Our stories are bursting with opportunities for adventure. I’m slowly learning that the biggest among them might be hidden within the circumstances clothed in uncertainty.
Has your story just taken a surprising turn? The next big thing might very well be the small thing right in front of you.